The Yankees Agenda
The New York Yankees are in the midst of a change. One that we haven't seen in at least a few decades in the Bronx.
The Yankees made four trades at this season's trade deadline; three of which resulted in the team being able to retrieve a number of prospects that look to contribute toward the franchise's future.
“We’re trying to get back to a situation where we can build an uber-team and a sustainable one,” general manager Brian Cashman said this week.
By trading away closer Aroldis Chapman to the Chicago Cubs, the Yankees received four prospects in return, including Gleyber Torres, a top shortstop prospect in the Chicago organization. Torres, a player highly regarded in the minor league system, was a great get for the Yankees and provides a bit of versatility as he is also a viable option at third base and second base.
After the Chapman deal, the Yankees traded away set-up man and former closer Andrew Miller to the Cleveland Indians and retrieved a haul of good young talent. The prospect leading the way was outfielder Clint Frazier, the top prospect in the Indians system. Frazier is a player that will likely make his debut for the Yankees near the start of the 2017 season, likely in right field. The Yankees also received Justus Sheffield, a starting pitcher who could make his way to the bullpen in the deal as well.
Even with that haul, the Yankees weren't done yet. On deadline day, the Yankees made two trades, one of which included their best hitter, Carlos Beltran, as he was sent to the Texas Rangers. In return, the Yankees got the fourth overall pick in the 2015 draft, Dillon Tate, a right-handed pitcher who looks to be a future starter for the Yankees.
Needless to say, the Yankees did everything they had to do at the trade deadline. But what exactly are the Yankees doing? It's been awhile since the Yankees have been in a rebuilding mode and they haven't had a minor league system this talented since the likes of Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada. So do we consider these moves as the franchise rebuilding for the future? Absolutely, and it's a great thing, here's why...
The Yankees are on the fast-track to being successful and one of the dominant American League franchises again.
Since winning the World Series in 2009, the Yankees haven't quite had the talent to get them over the top; and recently they've struggled to compete with nearly all of their division foes. The recent moves they've made are not they Yankees waiving the 'white flag,' but it's the team showing that they are closer than you think.
Before the trades that occurred at the deadline, the Yankees had a few prospects that they looked toward to bring the Yankees back to the forefront of the AL East in the future. Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Jorge Mateo, and James Kaprielian were the prospects that the Yankees were counting on to bring the team back to the prominence their used too. However, the Yankees recent acquisitions give the team a brighter future than they had been expecting.
Frazier, in particular, is a guy Yankee fans need to be excited about.
"Frazier has an electric bat," Cashman said. "His bat speed is already legendary. He's got all the tools —he can run, he can hit, he can hit with power, he can play all three outfield positions. A very exciting, high-energy guy that shows up for the National Anthem in a dirty uniform."
Frazier has had no problem advancing through the minor leagues; thus far in 2016 he's batted .270 with 13 home runs, and 48 RBI's.
The moves the team made this free agency will allow them to spend even more money after the 2018 season as a coveted free agent class is expected to hit the market led by Washington Nationals slugger Bryce Harper, Miami Marlins starting pitcher Jose Fernandez, and Baltimore Orioles third-baseman Manny Machado. The Yankees could possibly land all three.
So what exactly are the Yankees doing? They're expanding the idea of a 'core four,' with the possibility of turning it into a 'scary seven', or perhaps something better. New York is hoping to combine the prospects of Frazier, Judge, Sanchez, Kaprielian, and Torres with the likes of free agents Harper, Fernandez, and maybe even Machado. Money will likely not be a factor for the Yankees as much as room on the roster. Torres is likely to be moved out of the shortstop position, either to second or third base, to accommodate Mateo and the possibility of Didi Gregorius still being on the roster.
So what might your 2019 Yankees look like? Check this out:
(Future trades not taken into consideration)
C Gary Sanchez
1B Greg Bird
2B Jorge Mateo
3B Manny Machado
SS Gleyber Torres
LF Jacoby Ellsbury
CF Clint Frazier
RF Bryce Harper
DH Aaron Judge
1B Jake Cave
2B/SS Starlin Castro
OF Blake Rutherford
OF Aaron Hicks
UT Rob Refsnyder
RHP Jose Fernandez
RHP Masahiro Tanaka
LHP Justus Sheffield
RHP James Kaprielian
RHP Dillon Tate
RHP Luis Severino
RHP Ben Heller
RHP Domingo Acevedo
SU Ian Clarkin
CL Dellin Betances
If anything, Cashman is taking a page out of the Theo Epstein GM book by building the system with young talent in hopes that they all come together at some point and make a run at a World Series or two. But don't worry Yankees fans who enjoy the team breaking the bank for free agents, they'll still be able to do that as well.
Are the Yankees trying to turn back the clocks to the times of Jeter, Bernie Williams, Posada, Mariano Rivera, and Andy Pettitte? Maybe. However, this group has the possibility to be deeper and could help out the franchise not only while they are in pinstripes, but even after as their progression will allow the Yankees to be patient with future prospects and make trades to acquire others.
All in all, Yankees fans should be rejoicing. The team has taken a dramatic turn in the past week or so that may result in a championship or two down the road. The Yankees haven't been an elite team of late, but the blueprint has clearly been laid out.